Watch until the end... The surprise is worth it!
I bought a souvenir from a street vendor in Florence, Italy. With a thick accent, he said, "Have a good day. And since we probably won't meet again, have a beautiful life!"
I was touched by his words, and I want everyone I meet today to feel this from me. Even if we are together for only a few moments in the span of our entire lives. Even if our encounter seems small & mundane. Even if it is simply someone reading this post on Facebook who I may never meet face-to-face.
My heart is for everyone to feel this blessing from me: I hope you have a BEAUTIFUL LIFE!
When Galileo died in 1642, he had already spent decades as an outcast for his theories, and he was buried in an unmarked location.
A century later, the world had changed. The tomb behind me was erected in one of the largest basilicas in Florence, Italy to honor him.
If your ideas are special, you will be misunderstood, criticized, and sometimes you will feel alone. But don't give up your long-term vision for short-term comfort.
Pursue your LEGACY.
I’m filming in Florence, Italy this week.
When the architect designed Il Duomo di Firenze in 1294, his plans included a giant dome. At the time, the technology didn’t exist to actually construct the dome he envisioned, but he launched out in faith that someone would figure it out when it was time. Over 100 years later, when the rest of the basilica was complete, a different architect engineered a solution for the dome. You can see the beautiful accomplishment behind me.
Maybe you have an extraordinary dream in your heart, but you can’t envision how you will complete it. Don’t let that stop you. Most of the great innovators and world changers couldn’t see all the solutions when they began. And for most of them, the final vision turned out to be different and much better than they first imagined. They found the best answers during the adventure.
So, get started. You can begin right now without knowing exactly how to finish the dome. You are smart, other people will help, and the solution will be there when you need it.
Hope this message finds you well! I’m so excited to update you on our progress with Look to the Sky.
The process of creating a feature-length documentary is always a surprising and wonderful adventure. Fabulous things continue to unfold as we move along, allowing us the opportunity to keep improving the finished product.
At this point, filming is 90% complete. This documentary depends on capturing a wide variety of stories from many parts of the world, and scheduling always takes longer than you expect. Right now, we are on-track to finish all of the filming in October, with at least two more trips planned.
Editing has been in-progress since early this year. At each stage of editing, we narrow the 200+ hours of raw footage down to another level of precision. And I have set aside the months of October & November to devote the majority of my time to polishing the storyline arcs of the film in the editing room. I can’t wait to spend focused time on this!
Additionally, the steady work of writing the Companion Book continues. This is a new experience for me, but it’s certainly rewarding as we complete the first, then second, drafts of each new chapter.
Right now, we are focused on bringing everything together so we can begin charity screenings in Spring 2017. As we are now approaching the finale of the journey, I am pushing to wrap everything up so we can share the movie & the book with you & the world.
As always, thanks for your support! The past year has been filled with new & unique opportunities for me to share inspiration through filmmaking, speaking engagements, and my new podcast. It’s been a lot to balance, but I am so grateful for the opportunities to spread hope and compassion through this work. I deeply appreciate the affirming messages I receive about these efforts on a daily basis.
Looking forward to heroic days ahead! Back in touch soon with more news.
Sending love & big hugs,
This makes me LAUGH!
I recently spoke at an event in Washington DC. Just as I reached the climax of an emotional story, the stage spotlights starting fading in & out. This video shows my response.
In life, stuff goes wrong. Sometimes it’s your fault, sometimes it isn’t. Either way, I find the best approach is to stay cool, smile, authentically acknowledge the craziness, and then use it as an opportunity to build personal connection and bring people together into a shared adventure.
... and, blame the Bat-Signal.
“I told her to do it for herself, and do it from joy. I didn’t even want her to think about what she had to do. I just wanted it to flow.”
- Aimee Boorman, who has coached Simone Biles since she was 8-years-old
This week, I hope you will let go of the weight of what you need to accomplish and allow yourself to return to a place of joy.
You are extraordinary. You are loved. You are enough.
Last night Usain Bolt was slowing down near the end of the 200m semi-final, but Canada's Andre De Grasse pushed hard, forcing Bolt to give his best all the way to the end. The two sprinters smiled as they crossed the finish line.
For me, the goal of competition is NOT to defeat you. Competition allows the excellence in you to inspire more excellence in me. Seeing your best pushes me to find strength within myself that I might never have uncovered alone.
Sometimes your success makes me mad. Not because I'm angry at you, but because you are holding up a mirror image of something I can aspire to that I haven't yet achieved. Sometimes I need to get mad before truly committing to something hard that makes me uncomfortable.
So, THANK YOU for continuing to be amazing. You are helping me reveal my finest self and stretch for bigger dreams.
And this is actually a photo of the two of us! Look at how fast we are TOGETHER!
What is HOPE? It is possibility. It's a sense that the future can be different than the past.
One of my posts went viral last week. 120,000 likes! 55,000 shares! I'm thrilled this message helped so many people.
But it also stirred up some controversy and angry comments directed at me. A vocal group of people were upset about what I wrote.
In this video, I talk about the experience and how it reminded me to maintain my perspective, keep creating, and know that it's always bigger than me.
For MORE on this topic, I go deeper in the newest episode of my PODCAST... Being an Everyday Hero.
I spend a lot of time in airports. I'm sitting in one as I type this. Airports have taught me so much about GRACE.
I find myself surrounded by people who have no idea what they are doing. They don't understand how to use the check-in kiosks. They get in the security line before they have a boarding pass. They leave liquids in their carry-ons & refuse to remove their shoes. They get angry about every policy they don't understand, seeking affirmation for their outrage from any stranger who will make eye contact. They wander aimlessly in crowded terminals looking for a gate that's on the other side of the airport. And they are consistently in the way & slowing down my mission. It's easy to get frustrated.
Although I am confident & knowledgeable at the airport, there are many other parts of my life where I am still figuring it out. Just like the amateur travelers, I feel confused & lost sometimes.
I don't believe I can experience GRACE for my journey if I am unwillingness to extend it to others. Every time I silently forgive their inexperience, I am giving myself permission to make mistakes & look silly as I explore new territory in my life.
I find that the more GRACE I give, the more I have for myself. Plus, it makes crazy travel days so much nicer.
The country of Fiji won their first Olympic medal this week: Gold in Men's Rugby. They dominated the competition, winning the Gold Medal match 43-7.
Fiji is a collection of tiny islands in the South Pacific. They have participated in the Olympic Games since 1956 without ever reaching the medal stand. And they have taken some tremendous beat-downs. For example, the Fiji soccer team was outscored 23-1 in just 3 games at the Olympics, with a 10-0 loss to Germany.
But they never stopped sending athletes. For them, 60 years of commitment was worth it.
Maybe you feel like you've been battling through life for a while without seeing a Gold Medal. You are probably feeling tired. I know it's discouraging, but don't quit. Keep your faith. Move forward.
It may not happen the way you expect or as quickly as you wish, and it may take more hard work than you imagined, but please don't give up.
Your day is coming. And it will be worth it.
I disappeared for 7 days. No Internet, no emails, no social media, no phone.
I spent the week dreaming, thinking, crying, emotionally connecting to the stuff that matters. I took long walks in 3 different countries.
For me, travel is an opportunity to remove the distractions and go deeper. Into the places I am putting my faith. Into the extraordinary movements within that are so much bigger.
Today, I see it more clearly, and yet I have no idea what's actually going to happen next. I make plans, but God always seems to work though wonderful people, revealing something more expansive, joyful, and beautiful than I could have envisioned. I'm never quite ready, but I will bring everything in my heart, and I know it will be enough.
Today, I have so much love for you. All the incredible goodness and mysteries, and all the times you mess things up. That huge recent achievement that you've almost forgotten, and the time you tripped on your own feet and nearly fell down the stairs.
There is light everywhere. In the world. In me. In you. When I silenced all the voices for 7 days I truly knew it.
Don't let the commentators, voices of fear, and your social media feed lie to you. Hope is real. Amazing things are coming.
And I'm happy to be home.
I remember when I saw the photo of Michael Phelps smoking pot. He had become the most decorated athlete in the history of the Olympics, but overnight he lost millions in endorsements and outraged countless ‘fans’. Phelps reportedly told a close friend, “I don’t want to be alive anymore.”
Just a few years later, he was arrested & charged for driving under the influence of alcohol. He voluntarily checked into a 45-day rehab program, but I thought Michael Phelps was done as a swimmer.
Last night, Phelps won 2 more Olympic Gold Medals. At 31, he became the oldest swimmer to win an individual gold in Olympic history.
In life, you will fall. You will make mistakes. It’s unavoidable. But, when it happens, will you choose to get back up?
No matter where you find yourself today, you don’t have to stay down. Take a breath, ask for help, and keep fighting.
I'm in the suburbs of Chicago filming with Josh. He has 4 daughters... 3 are triplets! His story will be featured in our upcoming documentary film, A Voice That Carries.
It's not always easy to be a Dad with a house full of young ladies. But he has found unique ways to encourage his girls to embrace their own heroic journey.
I'm excited for you to meet them in A Voice That Carries! And... I love my job.
This is a driving force behind my films, podcast, writing, and presentations. We need to be reminded. And each of us can affirm & encourage the heroic spirit in others.
Loved sharing these thoughts recently in Washington DC for one of the top travel companies in the world. Thanks to Michael Cerbelli for inviting me to be part of this inspiring event!
Nine-year-old Tyler Fugett used his allowance to create a library for inmates at a local jail. He wanted to give people who were behind bars something to take their minds off their surroundings.
He showed up without warning at the sheriff’s office, armed with more than 100 books. Tyler told them that if inmates read, maybe they wouldn't have time to think about doing bad things.
I love his heart!
Photo Credit: Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office
I saw this flyer while walking in NYC. Nearly 20 years ago, I started my business with flyers just like it... complete with the rip-off tabs on the bottom. Mine advertised wedding videos for $150.
Launching a new idea is rarely glamorous. Typically, it's high on passion & low on funding. There aren't any limos, press interviews, or famous clients. It's just you & an ugly flyer.
So, just start. Wherever you are today, get moving. Post the flyer. Send the emails. Make the phone calls. Set the meeting. Stir up some dust.
The greatest stories we've ever told begin in wildernesses, and barns, and dirty streets, and in the minds of everyday people who were willing to look foolish to pursue a dream.
Today, feel free to do something a little crazy in pursuit of something beautiful. That's how the big stuff always happens.
My wife Tricia has struggled with chronic illness for the past 20 years.
I have never posted about this. I’ve always felt it was her story to tell. And she is now choosing to share it in a new BLOG.
This site reveals her emotional & spiritual journey to find her truest self in the midst of physical pain, depression, and doubt. It’s an expression of the faith & open heart of the most beautiful person on the planet. (I’m not biased)
Even if you’ve never struggled with long-term illness or depression, I think this BLOG will help you see beyond the circumstances you can’t control and into the inner light you are carrying.
Read now at: www.MySoulScripts.com. Please consider sharing with anyone you think this would bless.
I recently spoke in Orlando at the annual conference of the Association of Wish Granting Organizations. These real-life superheroes are focused on bringing joy to children and adults with seemingly insurmountable health challenges.
I was honored affirm the value of their work and share perspectives on leadership, storytelling, and relationship building.
The world is FILLED with heroes!